Movie review of Chasing Amy.
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Arts Entertainment

“Chasing Amy:” Kevin Smith’s Magnum Opus

Reviweing what may be writer/director Kevin Smith's best film.

“Chasing Amy:” Kevin Smith’s Magnum Opus

"Chasing Amy" is the third instalment of the View Askew film series and the closing chapter of the New Jersey trilogy, which is loosely connected by the Jones Sisters (Heather in "Clerks," Trish "The Dish" in "Mallrats," and Alyssa in "Chasing Amy"

According to Smith "In 'Clerks,' Dante freaks over the fact that his girlfriend has had [oral] sex with 37 guys. I thought that his obsession, that basic insecurity was worth exploring in greater depth with more mature characters [in 'Chasing Amy']" ( I provided this quote within my review for "Clerks" as a tease for this article, because it is that exploration into insecurities that makes the film so impactful.

The film follows comic book artist Holden, who's entire world has its axis shifted when he meets Alyssa Jones. Smitten from the onset, he finds himself in a whiplash when he discovers she is a lesbian. A friendship ensues, but he can't escape the deepening love he's developing for her.

After weeks, he confesses to her and her response is less than expected. She's furious. Loving him means that everything she thought she knew about herself is false. And yet she can't fight the fact that she shares such emotions and desires for intimacy with him as well.

As with all of Smith's films (yes, even "Mallrats" proves this at times), the dialogue is quick and provocative, all while masked with explicitly sexually humor. But the film says a lot about love.

Bankie and Alyssa "Jaws Homage"

Love changes people. The person you are right now may be different once your other half is in the equation. The Greeks have a myth that people initially had four arms, four legs, and a single head with two faces. To punish humanity for its pride, Zeus split humans in half, making us beings with two legs and arms, and a single face. Thus, one's soulmate is their other half.

Another notion of the soulmate can be seen within the first two people; Adam and Eve. A common idea is that the fact Eve coming from Adam's rib is meant to say that women are inferior to men. It's a common idea that is a common misconception.

The notion that Eve came from Adam's rib is that Adam's existence wasn't complete on its own. God then took something from Adam, in order to create Eve, thus creating his other half. With Eve, he is complete and his existence has meaning. Without her, he's missing his "rib." There is something quite beautiful in that.

While it may seem that I've gone on a tangent, this is related to "Chasing Amy." We all spend our lives "chasing Amy." We all have different desires; some people want to be doctors, others want to be rock stars; some want to be immensely wealthy while others just want a boat to fish on day in and day out.

Holden and Alyssa

But love, the idea that there is an equal half; a soul mate, is something every one of us is collectively searching for. And Alyssa finds that within Holden.

She tells him that she first became open to the idea of being with women, because she thought that deciding to be straight gets rid of half of the possibilities to find that one person that truly understands her and makes her wholly "her."

And Holden's love monologue he delivers to her in the rain, cements the fact that she is the same for him. She is his Eve, his other half…. his soulmate.

But through his insecurity, he lets go of his soul mate. When Holden learns that Alyssa has had sex with men as well, he feels threatened, and states that not only does it make him feel inexperienced, but he can't stop picturing her with other men.

This element brought clarity for me. I was with a girl who had more experience than I. It wasn't my inexperience that made me feel insecure. It was that, for lack of a better term, I was intimidated by it. Like Holden, I couldn't help but picture her with other people, and I hated it.

Despite it not being a healthy relationship to begin with, this insecurity didn't help allow the relationship to ever have a chance.

For a while, I thought I was insane, getting hung up over things that didn't matter. But then I saw "Chasing Amy" and I realized everyone goes through it. And as the film tries to explain, none of that bullshit really matters.

Alyssa, after Holden thinks he's found a solution to their problems, states that the only thing that matters is how they feel for each other and how they make each other feel. How they change and willingly change for each other, how they complement and complete each other are the only facts that are worth caring for.

Holden, Alyssa and Bankie

According to writer/director Kevin Smith, who developed the film from passed experiences, "This film required me to dig a little deeper than I had before. It helped me to turn a corner as a director.

"Even though I wrote the script, as the director I found that I still had to open up, to be more vulnerable, to make the emotional moments believable. It's a cliché, but this was a growing experience for me. It forced me to stretch. I really felt like a director for the first time, tackling the emotional stuff I've only danced around before. It's said that there's a thin line between drama and comedy, and with this film I had to walk that line from both sides" (

As in "Clerks" and in many other cases, during the few times Silent Bob speaks he speaks as the voice of reason. He states that every day, we're chasing Amy. That's all any of us are chasing.

Silent Bob

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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